The sibling art duo known as The Haas Brothers want to turn a 1917 commercial building on Adams Boulevard into a showroom for their high-end ceramic art.
They’ve submitted plans to the city to use the white one-story building at the southeast corner of Harvard and West Adams boulevards as a showroom and invitation-only boutique, as well as an in-house video production studio and space for manufacturing prototypes of larger art pieces, city planning documents show.
The building already functions as the duo’s “studio arts space.” Now, the twins need a zoning change to be able to expand what they can do at the site.
But they’ve hit a bump in the road. Their application for a zoning variance was denied by the city’s planning department. The zoning administrator noted that the changes wouldn’t be compatible with the neighboring retail and residential uses, “as there will be no true retail use on-site.”
Another sticking point was the concern that noise and air pollution from manufacturing, even small-scale, would be detrimental to nearby residences, including a senior center.
The Haas Brothers are appealing that decision. The South LA Area Planning Commission will hear the appeal on December 5.
Their appeal says, among other things, that rather than a detriment to the neighborhood, their planned space would “help improve the status of the area by introducing a very high-end, world renown art facility.” They argue their project would bring “vital economic benefits and prestige to an area that is working valiantly to bring back the historic economic prosperity of the area.”
The LA-based pair recently participated in a show at the UTA Artist Space in Boyle Heights—a gallery owned by the United Talent Agency that has been targeted by the neighborhood’s anti-artwashing and anti-gentrification organizations.
Their work was described in Architectural Digest as such: “Think giant, bead-covered mushrooms and sea urchin–esque ceramics that float in that middle ground between art and design.”